Athlete Journal: Travis Holley, Entry 17 – 8/11/12

As a coach I’ve learned a lot about triggers – I use triggers to help good things happens in class, but I also know triggers can bring on negative emotions for clients, as well.

Travis Holley – Athlete Journal 8/11/12

(Read Travis’s Bio here)

Today’s entry was brought on by some events that took place last night in one of my CrossFit classes. I’ll spare y’all the details, but what it boils down to is that one individual in class felt like some of my methods for getting my class pumped up and engaged were not effective for him. This all came about because I sort of called him out for his lack of energetic counting during our warmup, which is a requirement. You see, I will not move forward with class until the volume and energy is high. To me, this is an indicator my athletes are engaged and ready to rock. So when someone is holding back during this part of the warmup, I take notice and do what I can to get them out of their funk and focused on getting a great workout experience on that day.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of “triggers.” Essentially they are anything that elicits a specific response. For example, when a dog hears dry food hitting the dog dish, that dog has been triggered to come sprinting to get fed. Humans are a little more complicated, but run on a very similar operating system. I have tapped in to this in such a way that when we blast out the rep count it triggers fun, focus, energy, and a “go-time mentality.”

Now, it’s true that triggers that work for most people, won’t work for others. But typically it’s simply because the person is holding on to something that is preventing him/her from giving it a honest chance to actually trigger a desired response. It could be the person doesn’t want to look silly and be judged by others, or he/she was told over and over as a child that yelling is not okay. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. The point is that when people let go of their “grown-up masks” and allow themselves to play like a kid again, the results are pretty spectacular.

My point is sharing this with you all is not to hammer down on this athlete. It’s to bring triggers to your attention so you can start to discover what your triggers are for the positive actions and areas of your life, while allows learning the negative triggers that tend to lead to anger, frustration, and/or sadness. By the way, those can be trained just like the positives. You see, once you become aware of the inner-workings of YOU, you can train yourself to act in a way that correlates to the way you want your life to be.

So start exploring your triggers, and be sure to explore both sides of yourself. Don’t shy aware from exploring what makes you angry or frustrated. If you can alter that in even a small way, your life will be filled up with more of the good stuff.